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By Tennis Now | Wednesday, September 20, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki is one of the best movers in the sport.

Camila Giorgi gave the speedy world No. 2 the runaround.

Watch: Three-Set Warriors 

Playing proactive points, Giorgi toppled the top-seeded Wozniacki, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, to surge into her fifth quarterfinal of the season.

Controlling the center of the court and firing flat strikes into the corners, the 37th-ranked Italian toppled the two-time defending champion scoring her first Top 10 win since she defeated fifth-ranked Elina Svitolina on grass at the 2017 Birmingham.

Giorgi snapped Wozniacki's nine-match winning streak at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, handing the former world No. 1 her first loss in Tokyo since Belinda Bencic defeated the Dane in the 2015 semifinals.

Wozniacki swept Giorgi, 6-2, 6-3, en route to the Eastbourne title in June.

Since winning Eastbourne, the Australian Open champion has slumped to a 2-5 record, including opening exits in Montreal, Cincinnati and Tokyo.

The 26-year-old Giorgi has split six career meetings with Wozniacki with all three of the Italian's wins coming on hard courts.

It is Giorgi's first quarterfinal since she reached the last eight at Wimbledon.

The victory vaults Giorgi into a quarterfinal clash against anothe former world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka.

On the strength of deep returns, Azarenka dismissed eighth-seeded Ashleigh Barty, 6-4, 6-2.

Playing with taping around her left thigh, Azarenka attacked the Barty forehand to force the Aussie to hit her backhand on the run. Azarenka converted her third set point on a netted forehand to take a one-set lead.

It was Azarenka's first Top 20 victory since she stopped Madison Keys, Anastasija Sevastova and Karolina Pliskova at the Miami Open in March before bowing to eventual-champion Sloane Stephens in a three-set semifinal.

Azarenka snapped a streak of five straight losses to Top 20 opponents, including losing to Stephens at the US Open.

The 63rd-ranked Belarusian is playing for her first semifinal since Miami.

"I think I played a lot better than in the first round," Azarenka told "I felt I really controlled today and found the court really well, and I returned better than in the first round."

In their lone prior meeting, Giorgi edged Azarenka, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, on the grass of Eastbourne four years ago. 

"Obviously it’s been a while since I’ve played, I’m just trying to look day by day and see what happens," Azarenka said. "But I’m definitely enjoying my time on court these days."

No. 8-seeded Barbora Strycova fought off Anett Kontaveit, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-5, in a fierce battle that opened Thursday's play.

The 32-year-old Czech, the oldest woman in the field, avenged a Cincinnati first-round beatdown when she managed just three games against Kontaveit in August.

Changing paces and angles shrewdly, Strycova outlasted Kontaveit in three hours, 10 minutes to reach her second straight Tokyo quarterfinal.

The 25th-ranked Czech will take on home favorite and reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka in Friday's quarterfinals.


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